It’s Teacher Feature Thursday!
This week we are featuring Shawna Williams. Her two year old classroom was crazy for Frozen and Shawna and her co-teachers decided to embrace the film as a way to introduce many different sub-themes including an introduction to Norway. Below you will find a reflection from Shawna and images from some of her lessons.
What were your topics of exploration?
We were doing a unit of study on the book/movie Frozen. Within that theme we explored: ice, magic, castles, Norway/Arendal, winter, ice harvesters, Fjords, communication, love, Harry Potter, the life cycle of a snowman, and coronations.
What were your learning objectives? (What did you want your children to take away from the lesson?)
We wanted to expose the children to geography, language, math, science, and life lessons by using the movie/book Frozen. By acting out scenes, singing, dancing, dressing up and reciting quotes we wanted to bring the book/movie to life.
What was most successful about your lesson?
The children were truly engaged. I believe these lessons were successful because almost all of the children either had read the book or watched the movie and had already fallen in love with the story. Every day, the children looked forward to the lesson and were excited to learn. Not only was it a fun theme the children really enjoyed, but it was also a content topic rich with educational opportunities.
What could you have done differently? What recommendations would you have for another teacher trying out this lesson?
I had a lot to share with the class about Norway and I felt like I could have organized my objects a bit better for easy use. I would suggest to teachers that they should have a clear vision for their lesson but not to forget to have fun with it because when children see your enthusiasm they won’t help but feel excited as well.
Here are a few images from their unit on Frozen:
Shawna began her lesson by showing the children a globe. She explained that there were seven continents and Norway is located in Europe. She took time to show each child the country on the globe and then invited them to try and find the matching spot on the larger globe.
While the children waited they practiced counting to seven on their fingers.
Shawna showed the group a few images of the country and then read them a Norwegian folktale, The Three Billy Goats Gruff.
Lastly, the group spent time looking and discussing the Norwegian flag and then took turns painting their own.
Since they had spent time in the classroom talking about the people of Norway, Shawna took the group up to the Mammal Hall at the National Museum of Natural History to see if they could match some of the animals on exhibit to ones that also lived in Norway. The children had such pride when they made their match.
The last stop for the visit was a large map found in the Hall of Human Origins. Here, Shawna re-emphasized the location of Norway and reiterated the information they had learned about the country.
This class had a wonderful time learning about Frozen and Norway! Be sure to check back for a new Teacher Feature next week!